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Muriel Bowser won the city's Democratic primary with 44 percent of the vote. Jamie Finkelstein | Hatchet Staff Photographer

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser won the city’s Democratic primary with 44 percent of the vote. Jamie Finkelstein | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday, defeating incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray. Here are some highlights from the night at three of the candidates’ watch parties.

Bowser’s supporters dance, celebrate
By Hatchet reporter Sam Morse

About 250 people gathered in Southeast D.C., where they danced and chanted “All eight wards” while eating chicken and macaroni and listening to songs by LL Cool J and 50 Cent.

“We need freshness, and she has that,” campaign volunteer Deborah Johnson said.

Bowser pulled in about 44 percent of the vote, besting Gray and a field of candidates that included three other D.C. Council members. She brought her family onstage for her victory speech.

“I will run a campaign of integrity and vision and energy and inclusion. I promise that the values of our campaign will reflect the collective values of those of us in all eight wards,” she said.

Gray concedes defeat
By Hatchet reporters Brandon Lee and Laura Porter

After starting their day at 6 a.m. to draw voters to the polls, an effort that failed overall in an election with low turnout, Gray’s campaign volunteers mingled with supporters at his watch party.

With 32 percent of the vote, he conceded defeat and congratulated Bowser a little after midnight.

“I want to thank everybody who worked with us. This will not be an experience where we drift into the end of this administration. We will work very hard,” Gray said.

Terry Shelton, a Ward 4 resident who voted for Gray, said federal prosecutors’ accusations that Gray knew about the more than $600,000 shadow campaign, which buoyed his 2010 bid, cost him the election.

“[Residents] feel very reluctant to cast a vote for fear that the other shoe would drop,” Shelton said. “Had it not been for that, then perhaps we may have won.”

Foggy Bottom's Council member Jack Evans watches results come in at Stoney's Lounge. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Foggy Bottom’s Council member Jack Evans watches results come in at Stoney’s Lounge. Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

An early night for Evans
By Hatchet reporters Rachael Gerendasy and Kristen Barnes

Evans arrived at Stoney’s Lounge on P Street at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He circled the room to shake hands and hug supporters, with Michael Jackson and Prince songs blaring from the speakers.

“We went out there today and we covered the polls and we knocked them dead. It was a great scene as I drove around our city and saw all of our supporters. Let’s hope this goes our way, but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, and I will be eternally grateful,” Evans said, addressing about 100 supporters before leaving the restaurant.

After finishing with less than 5 percent of the vote, Evans made a quiet exit at about 10:30 p.m.

“He just wanted to be at home and rest with his family. He has worked very hard these past two and a half weeks, so after celebrating with his supporters here, he went to go be with his family,” fundraising events coordinator Robert Leming said.

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Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Vincent Gray leads in Washington Post poll

If the Democratic mayoral primary was held today, almost one-quarter of D.C. voters would pick Mayor Vincent Gray.

The Washington Post poll, released Tuesday, puts Gray ahead of D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, who earned 12 percent of the vote.

Foggy Bottom Council member Jack Evans, who is running for mayor for the second time in two decades, tied Council member Tommy Wells with 11 percent.

Gray’s chances could be hindered by the federal investigation into a $650,000 shadow campaign that helped elect Gray in 2010. Just under half of voters said Gray’s murky campaign finance history would be a factor in their pick, according to the poll.

Ethics will likely be a big issue for Gray, with 54 percent of voters saying he is not honest or trustworthy. Still, a majority of voters approve of the job he is doing as mayor.

Gray officially launched his campaign at a Southeast D.C. community center on Saturday and released his first campaign ad.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 3:01 p.m.

Jack Evans to announce run for mayor

Jack Evans, who will likely draw plenty of donor cash from his ward that includes Foggy Bottom, Georgetown and Dupont Circle, will make his mayoral candidacy official June 8. Hatchet File Photo

Longtime Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans will announce his run for mayor June 8, NBC 4 reported Wednesday.

Evans, the longest-serving council member and finance committee chair, had floated that he would likely run for mayor this year, and now will join council members and fellow Democrats Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells in the 2014 contest.

GW alumnus and incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray, whose 2010 campaign is under federal investigation, has not announced his candidacy.

Evans, whose folksy demeanor is popular with his constituents and donors, has held his seat in the ward that includes Foggy Bottom, Georgetown and Dupont Circle since 1991. He coasted to victory last fall after he was unopposed in the council election.

The 59-year-old has advocated for economic development boosters like the construction of Nationals Park and tax breaks for tech business.

Evans last ran for mayor in 1998, when he lost badly to former Mayor Anthony Williams. Evans will make his official announcement June 8 at Le Diplomate restaurant in Logan Circle at 10 a.m.

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David Rehr, an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Political Management, presented the results of the college’s study of how social media affected the presidential election Friday at the National Press Club. Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Delaney Walsh. 

The majority of Americans rely just as much on social media as traditional press to follow politics, according to research performed by the Graduate School of Political Management before the 2012 presidential election.

The study found that although social media is not the primary forum for voters to educate themselves about candidates and issues, it has pushed people to share and shape their opinions based on their online friends or followers.

David Rehr, a part-time professor in GSPM, and John Kagia, the director of strategy and insight for the research firm ORI Results, led a team of GSPM professors in the study of 806 people. The results were released Friday at the National Press Club.

Because of user’s personal connections on social media, many view sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr as a higher-quality sources of information than in the past, according to the survey results. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they found social media equally or more credible than traditional media, a sign of the waning influence of newspapers and broadcast news.

“The implications for our broader political lives – political advocacy, civic engagement, business – are huge,” Kagia said.

The research was some of the first to track an election that attracted a flurry of memes and hashtags after debates and campaign rallies.

Rehr and Kagia started the project after noting that social media activity around the 2012 election differed from the previous one, when Twitter was in its infancy.

Kagia cited Obama’s response to Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair speech” at the Republican National Convention as a hallmark of the more interactive role they saw social media play this election cycle.

The president’s social media staffers responded to Eastwood’s criticism with a viral hit: a tweet saying “This seat’s taken,” accompanied by a photo of the president seated in the Oval Office and a donation link.

The analysis also comes as GSPM tries to pump up its research portfolio, part of the director Mark Kennedy growth plan for the professional school.

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President Barack Obama 2010

President Barack Obama speaks at GW last year in the Marvin Center where he encouraged young voters to mobilize before the midterm elections. File photo

A 23-year-old alumnus who walked the graduation stage last year will lead religious outreach for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign starting next week.

Michael Wear, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science last year, was named Faith Vote director and will join the Obama campaign in Chicago, Religion News Service reported Monday.

An assistant in the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, he started out as an intern for Obama’s 2008 election efforts.

In his new role, the Buffalo, N.Y. native will try to rally religious voters to support a president who riled many with his announcement last week in support of gay marriage. The New York Times reported Monday that some of the religious leaders that Obama calls on for guidance may not support the president because of his pro-gay marriage stance.

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SA, Postering, Marvin Center 2010

Candidates and their campaign teams race to hang election posters on coveted Marvin Center wall space, an annual tradition that will take place on Feb. 15 this year. | Hatchet File Photo

More than 70 candidates filed for positions in the Student Association, Marvin Center Governing Board and Class Council elections, the Joint Elections Committee announced Friday.

Eight candidates declared bids for the top two SA spots this year, compared to last year’s crowded 12-person race for president and executive vice president.

Fewer undergraduates made bids for SA Senate seats this election season with 22 students vying for spots, down from 29 last year. JEC Chair Phil Gardner said the decline may be because of more stringent signature requirements on petitions for SA offices.

Candidates were required to collect 125 signatures for the U-At Large seats, 100 for the Colombian College of Arts and Sciences seats, 50 for the Elliott School of International Affairs seats and 50 for the School of Business seats – a change from signatures of 1 percent of constituents last year.

The number of graduate students running for SA Senate positions went from 10 candidates last year to 18 this year. Gardner said the JEC worked with the Center for Student Engagement to encourage election participation among graduate students.

All candidacies are unofficial until candidates’ petitions and academic and disciplinary records are verified by the JEC this weekend. Voting will take place Feb. 22 and 23.

The full list of candidates is below.

President – 1

  1. John Bennett
  2. Benjamin Pincus
  3. Jeremy Iloulian
  4. Will Thompson
  5. Ashwin Narla

Executive Vice President – 1

  1. Ben Leighton
  2. Austin Brewster
  3. Abby Bergren

Undergraduate At-Large – 2

  1. Justin Pennish
  2. Elizabeth Kennedy
  3. Hugo Scheckter

Graduate At-Large – 2

  1. Jacob Wilson
  2. James Bonneau
  3. Jake Chervinsky

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate senator – 6

  1. Daniel Egel-Weiss
  2. Markus Batchelor
  3. Nick Gumas
  4. Omeed Firouzi
  5. Yusuf Yilmaz
  6. Anthony Bucci
  7. Ian Shetron

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences graduate senator – 1

  1. Amanda Castroverde
Elliott School of International Affairs undergraduate senator – 3
  1. Alicia Rose
  2. Ross Rattanasena
  3. William Castagna
  4. Michael Morgan
  5. Peter Starkey
  6. Sabrina Chugani
Elliott School of International Affairs graduate senator – 1
  1. Jonathan Kirk
  2. Patrick Rizk
GW School of Business undergraduate senator – 2
  1. Ryan Counihan
  2. Evan Kline
  3. Tobey Wood
GW School of Business graduate senator – 2
  1. Gregory Viola
  2. Kevin Curley
  3. Shashwat Gautam
  4. Sheldon Tomlinson
  5. Omar Khan
School of Engineering and Applied Science undergraduate senator – 1
  1. Neil Forquer
  2. Buddy Bernhard
School of Engineering and Applied Science graduate senator – 2
  1. Will Rone
Graduate School of Education and Human Development senator – 2
  1. Michael Amesquita
GW Law School senator – 3
  1. Elizabeth Barnes
  2. Meredith Dempsey
  3. Jay Yarbough

School of Medicine and Health Sciences undergraduate senator – 1

none

School of Medicine and Health Sciences graduate senator – 2
  1. Robert Kickish
  2. Jordan Werner
School of Public Health and Health Services undergraduate senator – 1
  1. Alexander Mizenko

School of Nursing senator – 1

none

College of Professional Studies undergraduate senator – 1

none

College of Professional Studies graduate senator – 1

none

Program Board Executive Chair – 1
  1. Lauren Shenfeld
Program Board Vice Chair -1
  1. Bogdan Trach
Marvin Center Governing Board undergraduate – 4
  1. Jordan Hill
  2. John Paul Koenigs
  3. Uchenna Nwokike
  4. Ian Ceccarelli
  5. John Richardson
  6. Galen Petruso
Marvin Center Governing Board graduate – 1
  1. Gary Wong
  2. Jason Weissler
Class Council Senior
  1. Izack Nacheman
  2. Brittany Lee Garcia
  3. Aglaia Alexandrovna
Class Council Junior
  1. Loren Chen
  2. Kristin Kelleher
  3. Dana Honor
  4. Kayley Sullivan
Class Council Sophomore
  1. Tessa Bay
  2. Lee Seitz
  3. Kirsten Fischl
  4. Jacquelyn Cory
  5. Nick Shah
  6. Aamir Husain

 

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Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 5:47 p.m.

Evans campaign hosts reelection kickoff

Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans was first elected to the body in 1991 and is running for reelection unopposed. Cécile Schilis-Gallego | Hatchet photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jacqueline Drayer.

Ward 2 D.C. councilmember Jack Evans kicked off his reelection campaign with a public meet-and-greet Monday evening at his Logan’s Circle headquarters.

The 57-year-old, running unopposed to tack on another term to his 20-year career on the council, spent the evening circulating from constituent to constituent to chat.

Evans’ camp raised about $233,000 as of Oct. 11. Running on a platform of his track record, Evans said his top priority is to continue progress made under his leadership of Ward 2, which includes Foggy Bottom, the West End, Georgetown and Dupont Circle.

“We’ve seen a change in every aspect of the city and created a downtown that didn’t exist,” Evans said, adding that the neighborhood was previously underdeveloped and known for prostitution.

Fiona Greig, who launched a bid for the seat in October, dropped out of the raceciting an “intimidation campaign” from Evans’ team.

Evans deferred questions regarding Greig’s allegations to campaign consultant Tom Lindenfeld. Lindenfeld said her claims were “totally made up.”

The primary election is April 3 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

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Fiona Greig announced on her website that she is dropping out of the race for Ward 2′s seat on the D.C. Council, leaving longtime city politician Jack Evans unopposed for the 2012 election.

Greig, a 32-year-old manager at the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, officially launched her campaign about two weeks ago, after an exploratory committee. She said in her statement that she was no longer vying for the Ward 2 seat following an “intimidation campaign” from the Evans camp.

“Perhaps I was naïve, but I didn’t expect to face an intimidation campaign by a 20-year-incumbent and his supporters. At home, I received muffled phone calls telling me about the “dirt” my opponent had on me,” Greig said.

Greig also said a city agency informed her that a prominent private investigation “whose firm does ‘surveillance’ and ‘domestic investigations’” requested her records.

“Maybe that explains the man who repeatedly walked past my house one night, looking in the windows,” she said.

Evans, 57, has represented Ward 2 – which covers Foggy Bottom, the West End, Georgetown and Dupont Circle – since 1991. He raised about $233,000 by Oct. 11, his campaign announced then.

While still in the race Monday, Greig said she was challenging Evans because he was out of touch and no longer represented the views, interests and needs of Ward 2 residents, adding that he was not a strong enough advocate for ethics.

“In my opinion, this intimidation campaign just isn’t right,” her statement reads. “We need to change the nature of the local D.C. politics to welcome more residents to take part in our political process — not spend time and money to shut them out. Without more resident participation, we know which voices will get heard.”

The former candidate made local headlines last week, after media reported Greig accidentally released a potential donor list with her filings to the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance. Notes next to names included “super wealthy” and “Homosexual McKinsey.” She responded to the reports with an apology to the individuals listed in the filing, saying she did not personally author the notes and is supportive of the LGBT community.

The primary election is scheduled for April 3, while the general election will take place Nov. 6.

Evans’ campaign did not return requests for comment.

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Sen. Bob Bennett

Former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, the White House’s first official videographer Arun Chaudhary and P.J. Crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs, will join the School of Media and Public Affairs as fellows this academic year.

The three politically savvy media experts will offer insight to students and faculty within the school in the run-up to next year’s presidential election.

“For our future communicators to gain such high-level inside knowledge of political communication techniques is an extremely beneficial educational opportunity,” SMPA Director Frank Sesno said. “It is a perfect example of how our school excels at documenting the influence of media in politics in a world where digital and social media have changed the way people get information, mobilize and act.”

Philip J Crowley

Bennett, who represented Utah as a Republican from 1993 to 2011, and Chaudhary, who is now working on a book about the use of video to document presidencies after trailing the Obama administration for more than three years, are both distinguished professional fellows for SMPA. Chaudhary will also work with GW’s Center for Innovative Media on projects related to social media developments.

Crowley served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton on national security affairs and later served as the assistant secretary of state for public affairs from 2009 until March 2011. As a professor of practice with SMPA, Crowley will work alongside Sean Aday, the director of GW’s Institute of Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, on programs, lectures and strategic initiatives.

Arun Chaudhary Photo Courtesy of The School of Media and Public Affairs and Arun Chaudhary

Last March, Crowley publicly criticized the Pentagon for the alleged mistreatment of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier suspected of providing diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. He resigned from office three days later.

Throughout the school year, the fellows will interact with SMPA students at special lectures, class discussions, special events and seminars.

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Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 11:29 p.m.

Gray wins race for D.C. mayor in a landslide

Mayor-elect Vincent Gray celebrates after winning D.C.'s mayoral race Tuesday night. Michelle Rattinger | Photo Editor

Updated Nov. 3, 2010:

Vincent Gray went from presumptive mayor to mayor-elect Tuesday night.

With 37 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race in Gray’s favor Tuesday night. Shortly before 11:15 p.m., the AP said the GW alumnus clinched 97 percent of the vote.

Wednesday morning, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has Gray receiving almost 74 percent of the vote.

University President Steven Knapp congratulated Gray, a 1964 graduate, Tuesday night.

“We look forward to working with his administration to meet our shared goals, including improving public health and expanding educational opportunity in the District of Columbia,” Knapp said in a statement.

Knapp also congratulated other alumni seeking office this election cycle.

“We are proud of our alumni who come to GW with a passion for changing the world and go on to serve their communities,” he said.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the Republican Whip, is projected to beat his Democratic opponent Rick Waugh, according to the AP. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., is also projected to win reelection. The Washington Post projected Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tenn, will clinch a victory.

Earlier in the evening, GW alumnus Jack Conway lost his Senate bid in Kentucky.

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